The PNW Trepidation Tour 2020

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Turkeycreek, Jun 16, 2020.

  1. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
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    3,345
    Location:
    Banámichi, Sonora, Mexico
    Sometime in November I think it was, maybe right after we hosted our annual Banámichi moto meet-up, I floated the idea to Lynn - AKA Mrs. TC - that we should take a trip to central Mexico and explore a bit. Instead of driving or flying and renting a car, I would ride one of the motorcycles to Guanajuato or Guadalajara and Lynn could fly down to meet me. We would then have the bike to use to explore. We could then ride back to Banámichi together or she would fly home. She seemed cool to the idea. I brought up the fly and ride idea again and Lynn said she did not want to ride pillion. But, and you could have knocked me over with a feather, she said she would ride in a sidecar and we should get one.


    This was a surprise. I had a Cozy sidecar on a 2001 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 in Colorado and she never seemed to care for riding in it. She did enjoy interacting with people who wanted to ask about the car wherever we went. She said she felt as if she was in a kiddie ride at the carnival and she did not like the way the bike would veer or jink to the left when stopping quickly (no brake on the car.) After Lynn got her own motorcycle we used the hack less and less. We sold the rig in 2007 along with 4 other motorcycles moved just the Triumph and the BMW when we moved to Mexico. I reminded her of her lack of enthusiasm for the hack and queried her several times to make sure but she said she is all in on trying one again so we can get on the road together once more.


    Fifteen years ago, Lynn was enamored of Ural rigs after seeing them at shows and on the road. I read extensively about the issues with Urals including reliability and lack of horsepower at that time. That may have changed in the last few years but we decided no Ural. If you have one and it works for you, great but this is not a Ural thread. In the end we decided that the 2006 Triumph Tiger would make a great tug for the car.

    It has several advantages. It’s paid for, it has plenty of horsepower and low end torque, it’s in good shape and not too costly or hard to maintain. The biggest advantage is that it has been legally imported into Mexico and has Sonora license plates. This was a critical point. In the past, even though there was a lot of bureaucracy involved, it was not prohibitively expensive to import a vehicle. Today, both the cost and the bureaucratic headaches have increased several fold including a recent requirement of having US Customs export vehicles first and voiding any US title. That means if you wish to sell it in the US it has to be re-imported. My Tiger still has a Colorado title so that is not a problem. The one downside is that this Tiger needs a separate, custom-built subframe installed to attach the car.


    My dive back into the sidecar world led me to DMC Sidecars. They have a great reputation, have many, many options in cars and have built subframes for this series Tiger before. However, they are up in Washington State and a long way from Banámichi. In the end, the hassle and the brain death of dealing with the bureaucracy on both sides of the border to import a new vehicle was the deciding factor.


    As we talked the plan through I suggested that we ship the bike to Washington then fly up together and ride it home when it was ready.


    Lynn said “We're not doing that.”


    Why not? But then, clarity. Lynn said yes, she would fly to Washington with me and yes, we would ride home. What was completely unexpected was her plan that we would ride to Alaska first before turning around to the south and back to Mexico.


    The car was ordered, the Triumph shipped to DMC with an estimated early June completion date. We made several lists, went through everything motorcycle trip related, what we thought we needed to take and what we needed to acquire. Tools, riding gear, clothing, spare parts, camping gear. Most of these decisions were made based on Alaska.

    We read ride reports, talked to people who have made the trip and people who live in Alaska. We checked to verify if our Mexican cell phones would work in Canada and Alaska. (Maybe) We ordered the Milepost Magazine, the ultimate guide to Alaska. We were ready. June couldn’t come too soon.


    upload_2020-6-16_18-52-36.png
    #1
  2. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    3,345
    Location:
    Banámichi, Sonora, Mexico
    March 2020 MAN PLANS AND THE GODS LAUGH

    By mid March the Covid-19 virus was causing death, havoc, misery and uncertainty all over the globe. We were sitting fat and healthy in our small town in Mexico wondering, like everyone else, what will happen and how long will this last. Will we stay healthy? Will our friends and family be OK? Is it ethical and responsible to travel when we could inadvertently spread the infection? Will we be allowed to cross borders from the US to Canada and in the reverse? Will there be services like hotels and restaurants open along our route? I was reading ride reports by folks stuck in South America who were wondering what to do to get home where borders are closed and their risk of being.

    We decided Alaska will wait for a year. But we are flying to Washington to pick up the car. We have some trepidation about getting on a crowded airplane but we are going. We will mask up, bring disinfectant wipes and be vigilant about everything. We have our camping kit if we need it.

    The plan at this moment is to explore the Pacific North West, the northern Rockies and into the Dakotas before turning south down through Colorado where we used to live and then back to Sonora.

    Things are not settled. We want to see all the great scenery these areas have to offer but we want to and need to avoid crowds since we are of that certain age now.

    It may turn out that we just pick up the hack and head back to Mexico.

    But the rig is ready!

    upload_2020-6-16_18-54-49.png

    In two days we will leave the triple digit temperatures of the Sonoran desert. I can't wait
    #2
  3. jimmex

    jimmex Guero con moto Supporter

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    Have a great trip; it will be an adventure!
    #3
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  4. Ohio_Danimal

    Ohio_Danimal If I die trying, at least I tried Supporter

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    Tuned in for this one Tom. Sounds like opportunities for much fun
    #4
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  5. Gustavo

    Gustavo Motociclista Errante

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    Sometimes in Hillsburrito
    Hope you guys have a good, safe, trip. :beer

    Gustavo
    #5
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  6. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
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    San Antonio
  7. Ohio_Danimal

    Ohio_Danimal If I die trying, at least I tried Supporter

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    :imaposer
    #7
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  8. jimmex

    jimmex Guero con moto Supporter

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    Maybe y'all can come see me in CO on the way back.
    #8
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  9. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
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    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    Looking forward to hearing more about this - we're in Olympia, but have some family right up near DMC. If you and Mrs. TC are up for it, I'd be happy to meet up with you for a socially distanced dinner and coffee somewhere in WA or nearby. I bet @DRONE would be interested as well.
    #9
  10. RW66

    RW66 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    850
    Location:
    Central Mexico
    Tom
    You mentioned that maybe I should look into getting one also. I have looked around but not ready to pull the trigger. Can I ask a question? The picture looks a lot like the hacks that are made in Aguascalientes..........why did you decide on Washington and not get one more local? I have been thinking about Aguascalientes so I would like to understand your thoughts.
    Thanks.
    #10
  11. noshoes

    noshoes soñando con México

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    Location:
    Douglas, AZ
    Do you have a name for the outfit in Aguascalientes?
    You sparked my interest.....
    #11
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  12. RW66

    RW66 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    850
    Location:
    Central Mexico
    http://sidecaraguascalientes.com/
    I believe this is the link to their web site. Haven’t tried it for a while.
    #12
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  13. noshoes

    noshoes soñando con México

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    #13
  14. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    Tacoma - ish, WA
    #14
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  15. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
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    Location:
    Banámichi, Sonora, Mexico
    I did the Black Bear in an Isuzu Trooper, maybe we will try it with the hack.
    It was the subframe requirement for the 955 Girlie and the weight.
    #15
  16. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    We got up at 3 am this morning and put the last few items in the car. Our friend Beto had agreed to drive our car north to the border. We had hoped he could drive us to the airport in Tucson but Mexican nationals cannot cross north into the US. Plan B was to have Beto drive us to Naco, Sonora where Lynn and I would walk across the border to Naco AZ to be met by a friend from Bisbee who would then take us to the airport. It was a beautiful drive through the predawn in the Rio Sonora Valley. A crescent moon with Venus nearby peeked in and out from beyond the hills. We watched the sun come up over the Sierra in Sonora for the last time for at least a little while.
    We arrived for our flight in good time, flew to Salt Lake City, had an hour and a half layover before continuing to Seattle and got our rental car. We arrived at our hotel at 7 pm. A long day but the sun was shining and the flanks of Mt Rainier shone white with snow. A very impressive and welcoming sight.
    Everyone on the flight wore a mask as required by Delta.
    No photos from today. Tomorrow we pick up the rig and run some errands. Sunday we ride.

    I have gotten several PMs from inmates who live in the area with great info on places to go and see. I hope we can maybe meet.

    More tomorrow
    #16
  17. szurszewski

    szurszewski Long timer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Olympia, WA
    Glad you made it safely to the PNW - looks like today will be great weather to reunite with your bike in its new life as your rig!

    I’ll be riding around just south of SeaTac doing some errands (first stop: Drone’s hive to pick up the bike I stashed there a month or so ago) and thinking of you. Safe travels!
    #17
  18. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

    Joined:
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    Look forward to following along on this, what a seriously cool thing to do! Heading over to the Oregon outback today for a 7-day jaunt of my own, but will enjoy picking up your journey as service allows.
    #18
  19. Animo

    Animo Been n00b awhile

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    Following along for the great ride. :lurk
    #19
  20. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Banámichi, Sonora, Mexico
    Picked up the car today. The folks at DMC were great.
    Then we ran some errands to pick up a few things like a new lid and jacket for Lynn and some kevlar jeans. Then I picked up a new travel guitar. It's a 3/4 size and it sounds OK. I have no idea how to carry it on the rig yet.
    A few more errands tomorrow, come up with a packing plan and we will head out Sunday. We are in no big hurry and still no real plan. we have a list of things to see and places to go so we will have to put some routes together.

    Here is a photo of Mt. Rainier from near Buckley, WA and a photo of me with the rig.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Lynn says I look pretty happy standing there. I'm going with the bandanna as a pull up mask. I can't help thinking about Butch and Sundance when I use a one of this. "Manos arriba. Esto es un robo"

    I don't know what I will have to report tomorrow but we will see.
    #20
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